Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s decision to return repaired parts of the Russian gas pipeline to Germany was difficult, but necessary.
Posted at 12:29 PM
Updated at 3:09pm.
She was speaking to reporters on a conference call after the conclusion of the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia.
“It was a very difficult decision for Canada to make. I insisted I understand Ukraine’s concerns about this, but it was the right thing to do. Canada is united and determined to support the Ukrainian people. We have provided $3.4 billion in financial and military aid. I am proud that Canada has been a leader in supporting and opposing Ukraine [au président russe] Vladimir Putin. »
But Canada alone cannot provide Ukraine with all the support it needs, she said, defending the importance of the combined efforts of the Group of Seven and the transatlantic alliance.
She said Germany had been very clear that the gas pipeline, from Russia’s state energy company Gazprom, could be a problem. Russia cut exports by 60% last month in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which serves northeastern Germany, citing technical problems with the turbines.
We have heard very clearly from Germany that their ability to maintain support may be at risk.
Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister
It also argued that the United States publicly supported the Canadian decision.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the move “totally unacceptable” earlier this week.
“The decision on the exemption from sanctions will be seen in Moscow exclusively as a manifestation of weakness. This is their logic,” adding that Russia will now try to restrict or stop gas supplies to Europe at the most critical time.
And in Ottawa, opposition lawmakers, Friday, demanded liberal ministers explain the controversial decision during a special meeting of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development next week.
The Liberals allowed Secretary of State Melanie Jolie and Secretary of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson to answer questions.
Conservatives had called mI to appear before Freeland, claiming that she did not agree with the decision and that liberals were trying to prevent her from testifying before her comments on Saturday.
The commission will also invite the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the ambassadors of Ukraine, Germany and the European Union to Canada to testify.